Statement of NCFC President Chuck Conner on Introduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act

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Washington, D.C. (March 3, 2021)–“Today’s reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the House of Representatives is an important step forward in addressing the labor crisis faced by America’s farmers and ranchers. We urge House leadership to bring the bill to the floor without delay and encourage all members of Congress to vote ‘yes.’

“In addition, on behalf of America’s farmer co-ops, I thank Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Dan Newhouse for their leadership on this issue and for moving forward with the FWMA in the 117th Congress. We would also like to thank Representatives Mike Simpson, Jimmy Panetta, Doug LaMalfa, Jim Costa and Mario Diaz-Balart in working to ensure the agreements made in developing the FWMA were kept intact during this reintroduction.

“Throughout the process of drafting the legislation in the previous Congress, Representatives Lofgren and Newhouse met with a wide variety of stakeholders—including NCFC and other farm groups—to solicit input and build support. That inclusivity helped the FWMA become the first agriculture immigration bill to pass the House in over 30 years, doing so with significant bipartisan support.

“The bill provides an opportunity to obtain an earned legal status for the current workforce in agriculture; it codifies many of the reforms that were recently made to the current H-2A program and provides some certainty over labor costs; and it authorizes a limited number of year-round visas for those farmers with year-round labor needs, such as those in dairy and livestock.

“Once the bill is, hopefully, approved by the House, we look forward to working with the Senate to ensure that any final legislation addresses concerns with the FWMA and ensures the future competitiveness of farmers and ranchers.”

About NCFC

Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives.  Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.

America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members.  These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity.  They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.

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